Friday, 17 August 2007

The use of Straw Bales

Once the wheat is cut, the straw bales are left in the field for some time. These are very useful for the local birders. The field, now without its crop is an ideal feeding area for both grain eaters and insect eaters as well as small mammals. Once these are here they are targets for the local predators. Many of the birds use the bales to perch on and they are worth inspecting to see whats there. The local Magpies use them and this one seemed to have upset a Kestrel that constantly dive bombed it. This one was more interesting and had a Whinchat at each end and a Northern Wheatear in the middle.

Both constantly flitted off the bale to feed on the ground. This Whinchat allowed reasonably close approach.


The Wheatear also perched up on the more traditional fence post.

Other Wild-Life. As well as the above migrants there were several Willow Warblers around and a steady stream of Barn Swallows were moving through. At about 10 a.m. a tight flock of 48 House Martins moved south across the golf course.
In the improved weather there were a few butterflies around, I noted numerous Gatekeepers, a male Common Blue, a female Chalkhill Blue, many Small Whites, a few Large Whites and a Peacock. In the garden there are still one or two Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and Speckled Woods. At the end of my walk I realised that for the first time for some weeks I didn't see any Marbled Whites. I alsosaw two Southern Hawkers.
While I was trying to get a Warbler to show itself (it was a Common Whitethroat) by making squeaking noises, I was suddenly aware that the long grass just in front of me was moving. I don't know whether me or the young Fox that popped out a few feet away was most surprised.

1 comment:

Peter Wells said...

On the suject of Bales, they are very heavy, do not attempt to move them or roll them, as they can (and will) cause injury if someone, particularly children, fall under them, or if they roll back again once moved - they should be left alone please